Tag Archives: southeastasia

Asia Adventure: Luang Prabang, Laos

In December, I went on a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Luang Prabang, Laos.

Part of a former French occupation, Luang Prabang, Laos proudly boasts Parisian cafes with cafe au lait and pain au chocolat. Fringed by two rivers, the town is almost as romantic and dreamy as Paris itself. Luang Prabang is an idyllic city for lovers and I was in love…

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The Effects of the Khmer Rouge: One Man’s Story

While in Battambang, Cambodia I had the absolute pleasure of spending the day with a man named Thoeun who was my driver around the town. He lived through the Khmer Rouge control. While we were together, he told me his story:

At the age of 12, the Khmer Rouge took over in Cambodia. Thoeun lived in a small village far away from any large cities which were the places most affected by the awful power. For the 4 years Khmer Rouge ruled the country, Thoeun hid out in his village. His family wasn’t so lucky; his aunts, his uncles, and his brothers were killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers. He told me that he still misses them and thinks about them 35 years later. In 1980, Thoeun escaped to a Thai refugee camp where he stayed for 12 years. While there, he learned English from American and British doctors at the camp. He moved to Battambang in 1993 where he works as a tuk tuk driver. Despite the sad beginnings his life had, Thoeun was always delightful. Continue reading The Effects of the Khmer Rouge: One Man’s Story

Asia Adventure: Battambang

I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Battambang, Cambodia.

I adored Battambang with its more laid back feel than the bigger cities like Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. There’s a fresher, cleaner air to this city – it did win the clean city award for 2015-2016! My suggestion is to spend one full day here. On this full day, explore and walk around the city in the morning, and then head out for sightseeing around 2pm with a tuk tuk driver.

Bamboo train

Maybe I shouldn’t have loved this as much as I did because it’s just a train, but the hour I was there, was one of the best hours of my entire trip.

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That’s my train on the left off of the track since another cart was approaching

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Finding Inner Peace in the Cambodian Countryside 

Set amongst rice paddies, thatched huts brimming with smiling children, ancient temples, and markets filled with dried meats, fresh fruit, and shampoos in tinny pouches, Hariharalaya is a paradise in the Cambodian countryside. With twice daily yoga and meditation sessions, three types of massages, and myriad fresh pressed juices and vegan delights, the retreat is perfect for the yoga aficionado and the meditation novice alike.

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The 6-day session I attended at Hariharalaya featured students from various countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Canada, the U.S., Poland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and England. We came together for this week to find inner peace, relaxation, and/or a deeper yoga or meditation practice.

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Asia Adventure: Siem Reap

I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The temples of Angkor Wat are the reason why people travel to Cambodia. Built over 800 years ago, these temples are absolutely fascinating. Many of the structures were unfinished and left to ruin. In the 19th century, French explorers rediscovered the temples and since then the historical buildings have been the go-to destination for Cambodia.

There are many temples that make up Angkor Wat and you can choose to explore most of them with multiple-day passes. You can hire a guide to drive you around and explain the historical significance, bike around the complex, or simply hire a tuk tuk driver for the day. We chose to go for one day with a tuk tuk driver who took us to the four main temples we were most interested in visiting.

Angkor Wat  

The most common way to visit this temple is at sunrise. It’s a 5:00am pick-up so you can enter the park at the 5:30 opening time. It definitely is worth the early alarm.

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Asia Adventure: Phnom Penh

I’ve just returned from a 3-week trip to Southeast Asia, including 2 weeks in Cambodia, 5 days in Laos, and 2 days in Hong Kong. Overall, the trip was really fantastic – I met a lot of great people, got to meet up with friends from Hong Kong, saw amazing historical sites, had fun travel buddies, and ate yummy food. So as not to overwhelm, I’m breaking up my posts by city. Today’s adventure: Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is home to the Killing Fields & the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. A brief history lesson: the Khmer Rouge seized power over the Cambodian government in 1975, with the intent to make everyone “equal”. They forced many people out of their homes, either brutally killing them or pressuring them to do break-backing work with little to no food. The Khmer Rouge’s reign over Cambodia lasted 4 years in which an estimated 1.5 to 3 million people died.

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